Afterparties, by Anthony Veasana So

Staff Pick

A first-generation son of Cambodian refugees, So writes with tenderness and humor about the lives of young people in a Cambodian-American community. Struggling with the tension of growing up American with a generation of parents still suffering the trauma of escaping the Cambodian genocide, So's characters sparkle with wit and irreverence despite the pain that haunts them. The stories he writes are messy, charting his characters' complicated efforts to carve out a place for themselves and to find meaning in the detritus inherited from their parents’ shattered worlds and the coping mechanisms they've developed to compensate.

Afterparties: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063049901
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Ecco - August 3rd, 2021

Hurts So Good, by Leigh Cowart

Staff Pick

Seeking to understand why people voluntarily engage in physically painful activities, Cowart, a science journalist, explores a wide spectrum of experiences, from Medieval self-flagellists to modern ultramarathoners and contestants in hot pepper-eating contests. Merging science with her own sharp and compassionate insight, and writing with vibrant prose, Cowart accompanies the reader on a journey of desire, bliss, brokenness, and grace. (Note, this book explores material some readers may find uncomfortable.)

Hurts So Good: The Science and Culture of Pain on Purpose Cover Image
ISBN: 9781541798045
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: PublicAffairs - September 14th, 2021

Drifts, by Kate Zambreno

Staff Pick

A genre-defying work of auto-fiction, Zambreno's Drifts follows the musings and observations of an unnamed narrator as she spends her days "folding time into a book" to maximize her experience of ordinary life--or merely to avoid working on her novel. Guided by the likes of Rilke, Lispector, and Dürer, Zambreno's protagonist lets her writing languish, but Zambreno draws on her own creative history to portray the restless energy of artistic pursuit, including the concomitant struggle with nothingness.                                                             

Drifts: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593087237
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Riverhead Books - May 18th, 2021